Xavier University Center for Teaching Excellence
Call for Applications to define a Faculty Learning Community

The CTE is soliciting applications to define new FLCs for 2013-2014. Either one or a pair of faculty facilitators may propose topics, using the attached format. The FLCs should be topic-based and not primarily cohort-based. The FLCs will meet for one year and can begin in either August 2013 or January 2014.

With funding from a grant from the American Council on Education and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, one FLC will be designated for a topic related to later-career faculty issues. Applicants are encouraged to consider the range of topics that might interest late-career faculty, draw on their years of dedication and expertise, and result in individual projects. This FLC should start in August 2013.

The CTE Faculty Advisory Committee members will evaluate and select successful proposals.

Applications are due Friday, April 12, 2013.

The Faculty Learning Communities program is modeled on the program pioneered by Dr. Milt Cox, founding director of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching at Miami University. FLC programs have since been established at numerous universities in the United States and in other countries. We at the Center for Teaching Excellence are excited about the potential and growing track record of FLCs to foster intellectual community among Xavier faculty while encouraging the development and implementation of innovative pedagogy informed by research and experience. FLCs, in short, offer Xavier a new mechanism to support faculty-driven teaching initiatives that will enhance the excellent teaching and learning that have come to characterize this university.

To date, 130 Xavier faculty members have participated in at least one of 16 FLCs.

Previous and current FLCs at Xavier include:

  • Experiential Learning
  • The Human Good:  Building Continuity Across the Curriculum
  • Faculty Legacy Projects
  • Teaching Honors/Scholars Courses at Xavier
  • Digital Humanities
  • The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Quantiative Literacy
  • Initiating and Facilitating International Experiences for Students
  • The Future of Cincinnati
  • Strengths-Based Teaching and Leadership in the Classroom
  • Excellence: Teaching out of our Wisdom
  • Effective Laboratory Instruction within the Core Curriculum
  • Incorporating Sustainability into Courses
  • Mid-Career (cohort-based)
  • Using Technologies to Extend Classes Beyond the Classroom
  • Mentoring Undergraduate and Graduate Research

Looking for other ideas? Descriptions of the FLCs at Miami can be found at:
http://www.units.muohio.edu/celt/faculty/flcs/miami/historical/index.php

FLCs at Xavier
A faculty learning community (FLC) is a cross-disciplinary group of 8 to 12 members, led by one or two facilitators, that engages in a year-long collaboration dedicated to exploring one theme or aspect related to teaching and learning within and beyond the university community. Each FLC will meet regularly (10-12 times per year), guided by key questions and directed towards self-defined results. Some FLCs incorporate off-campus retreats or visits to relevant sites, such as other universities. FLC members will present these results at Xavier and, ideally, through external presentations and publications.

How is an FLC different than an Ad Hoc Committee or Task Force?
FLCs are faculty-initiated groups that begin with a proposal developed by an individual or pair of faculty member. No external group?faculty or administrative?issues the FLC a charge or task. The FLC members themselves agree upon the collective and individual goals. FLCs have their primary outcome in the form of individual projects, which should directly influence the participants? teaching. They may also result in presentations or publications about teaching. Some FLCs have issued joint written reports or white papers as well, but these are not an essential or required part of an FLC.

Details and facilitator responsibilities
In addition to defining the topic of the FLC, the facilitators are expected to support the FLC by sharing their own teaching experience, providing leadership, building community, encouraging creativity, and fostering an environment of open communication and collaboration. In preparation for this, facilitators are expected to attend a one-day training during summer 2013.

Facilitators will receive professional development funds of $1,500 apiece if the community has two facilitators or $2,000 if the community has one facilitator. Professional development funds are not stipends but can be used for expenses such as travel, books, technology, equipment, student assistance, etc. Should the facilitator choose to receive a stipend in lieu of development funds, the amounts will be adjusted to account for the cost of salary-dependent benefits: co-facilitators will receive $1,250 each; a sole facilitator for an FLC will receive a $1,700 stipend.

Each FLC will have a $10,000 budget, which may include up to $500 in professional development funds for each FLC participant. This budget may also be used to fund off-campus visits, retreats, visiting speakers, food, and other relevant expenses. Funds for the facilitators are not part of group budget.

Please direct any questions about FLCs or the application process to
Steve Yandell, Faculty Director of the CTE, yandell@xavier.edu, 745-3598 or Mary Kochlefl, Administrative Director of the CTE, kochlefl@xavier.edu, 745-4279.

 

Application

All full-time, teaching faculty from all disciplines are eligible to apply. A librarian may submit a proposal in conjunction with a principal faculty member. Applicants must submit proposals following the format outlined below.

Applications will be reviewed by the CTE Faculty Advisory Committee, who will select the FLCs.

The following must be sent electronically to cte@xavier.edu by Friday, April 12, 2013:

1) The application in the form outlined below
2) Curriculum vitae for each facilitator (abbreviated, no more than three pages)
3) A supporting letter from each facilitator?s department chair (can be an e-mail)

Applicants should carbon copy their Department Chair and Dean on this application; acknowledgment of receipt of the application will be sent by e-mail.

The awards will be announced by the end of the spring semester 2013.


APPLICATION FORMAT - not to exceed 5 pages

Cover Page (titled: ?Faculty Learning Community Application?)
1. Name(s) of facilitator(s)
2. Rank(s)
3. Department (s)
4. Title of proposed FLC
5. Whether the proposed FLC addresses a topic related to later-career faculty
6. Proposed start of FLC (August 2013 or January 2014)
7. Abstract (150 words or less)

Project Description (2-3 pages) ? Please provide the following:
1. Description of the FLC topic, including key questions that will guide the community.
2. Rationale for why the topic is relevant to teaching and learning at Xavier and within higher education
3. Possible individual and collective projects resulting from the FLC, including potential for impact on student instruction
4. Possible schedule of topics, readings and activities for the FLC meetings, including possible retreats or guest speakers

Membership Parameters
1. Will the FLC be limited to certain types of faculty (tenured, tenure-track, etc.)?
2. Is there evidence of faculty interest in this topic? Include any relevant evidence here, including names of faculty who have expressed an interest in participating.
3. Do you have thoughts on strategies for recruiting members to your FLC?

Applicant(s)? Qualifications
1. Do you have experience facilitating groups comparable to this one?
2. What is your experience with this topic?

Budget
1. Please provide a preliminary budget for the FLC (to be finalized by community).